Dirty Wage Bill Gets A Little Cleaner

Bill Scher

Senate Finance Committee Chair Max Baucus is still refusing to pass a “clean” minimum wage bill without business tax giveaways.

But now he’s looking to make a slight improvement to his dirty bill: paying for the revenue loss of wider business loopholes, by closing different business loopholes.

The Washington Post reports that the committee will “consider[] a proposal to sharply limit the earnings corporate executives and other highly paid employees can place tax-free into deferred compensation plans, one of the most popular executive benefits in corporate America.” According to CQ.com, that means executive pay over $1 million would be subject to the 35% income tax rate.

CongressDaily says that’s the “most controversial” piece in Baucus’ new package. But something tells me this won’t be controversial with the more than 99% of Americans who earn less than $1 million a year. Apparently, when a handful of CEOs start whining, that means controversy abounds.

Baucus tells CQ he still needs to keep business tax breaks in the bill: “There’s no choice but to put this on the minimum wage. Otherwise there’s not 60 votes for the minimum wage.” He’s still wrong. In crunch time, 82 House Republicans dared not vote against a widely popular pay raise. And Senate Republicans filibuster a pay raise at their political peril.

And CQ also reports that Rep. Charlie Rangel remains committed to a clean bill. Stay tuned.

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